At this conference we will discuss one of the most important barriers that currently prevents sustainable food systems from becoming mainstream – the absence of pricing that reflects the true cost of production – or 'True-Cost Accounting.'
At present, food producers are not financially accountable for the impacts of production on environmental and public health, which means that the polluter doesn’t pay, and those that are making food sustainably are not rewarded for positive outcomes.
Bringing together experts from across food and agriculture, including leading economic thinkers, researchers, policy-makers and food-companies, this event presents a unique opportunity to discuss the development of a new economic model for a sustainable future.
Our panel of international speakers will explore how to identify and price these external costs, and develop the policy mechanisms required to drive the change that is needed.View Speakers
Pre-Conference ReceptionRead More
We are delighted to announce the eve of conference reception for our upcoming event on the True-Cost of Food and Farming.
Hosted at The Garden Museum, on the evening of December 5th, you will be welcomed by SFT's Patrick Holden and Rosie Boycott of the London Food Board. This reception is our opportunity to present the best of British food and drink, and to thank all those that have supported the SFT over the last 2 years.
On arrival you will be handed a cocktail and canapés designed and created by The Ethicurean. Guests will then be guided on a tour of sensational products from some of the best in British food including UK artisan cheeses from Neals Yard Dairy, Seafood from Dorset Oysters and Dorshi sustainable sushi, Charcuterie from Trealy Farm, and many more. This will be followed by a British inspired Christmas dessert designed by the Nordic Food Lab.
All of this beautiful food can be enjoyed whilst listening to a very special Bach musical concert by the London Octave, with support from Medicine Creek.
Join us at 6.30pm for what promises to be a delicious evening of food, music and conversation to stimulate your senses!
The Hidden Costs
Our Current Food Systems
“What has become clear is that the apparent success of some modern agricultural systems has masked significant negative externalities.”
Professor and author, Jules Pretty will be highlighting the hidden costs of UK agriculture and showing us which elements of our food and farming systems are currently unaccounted for.
The Need for Change
Our four speakers, leaders in the fields of farming, public policy, business and finance, will make the case for the urgent need for change
True Cost in Practice
True-Cost Accounting in Real World Scenarios
Our four case studies will discuss the challenges and benefits of true-cost accounting in real world scenarios
Ecosystems and Food Systems
Valuing the Connection
“The new world that begins now, in 2013, will be defined by frightening climate instability, food prices, food prices ratcheting skywards, and impotent governments reduced to spectators in their own countries… Here is why I think so.”
Pavan Sukhdev will explain the reality of the situation we face if we fail to act and what we should be doing about it
Nature versus Food Production?
A panel discussion
Can nature-friendly food systems be productive and profitable? The world’s leading conservation organisations discuss what is possible
Does it stack up?
Testing the proposition
We close our conference with a lively panel discussion, hosted by BBC Radio 4’s John Humphrys.
After studying Economics, and helping to run one of the first organic food centres in the Netherlands, Peter Blom joined Triodos in 1980, the year they first opened for business. Having been with them since the start, he was appointed Managing Director in 1989, and has been CEO since 1997.
Peter is Chair of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values and also a member of the Board of the Dutch Banking Association. He maintains his interest in food and farming, chairing the Organic Food and Agricultural Council of the Netherlands.
Professor Jules Pretty is Professor of Environment and Society and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Essex. He has a particular interest in sustainable agriculture, and the relations between people and the land.
Jules has written and edited several books on the braiding of nature and people, exploring the importance of place and the land for identity and health of individuals and cultures.
His research focuses on agricultural sustainability, nature and health, and consumption patterns and well being.
Jules received an OBE in 2006 for services to sustainable agriculture, an honorary degree from Ohio State University in 2009, and was a visiting Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. He is a Fellow of the Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Arts, former Deputy-Chair of the government’s Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment, and has served on advisory committees for government departments and research councils.
Tim Lang has been Professor of Food Policy at City University London’s Centre for Food Policy since 2002. After a PhD in social psychology at Leeds University, he became a hill farmer in the 1970s, which shifted his attention to food policy, where it has been ever since.
For over 35 years, he’s engaged in academic and public research and debate about its direction, locally to globally. His abiding interest is how policy addresses the environment, health, social justice, and citizens.
As an environmental economist, Pavan Sukhdev helps governments and corporations discover, measure, value, and manage their impacts on natural and human capital, through his consulting firm GIST Advisory.
Pavan was appointed to lead The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, a global initiative to determine the value of our ‘ecosystem services’ to the economies they serve. Their report found that we were losing $2-4 trillion worth of natural capital, comparable to the losses during the banking crisis, with bees and other pollinators alone worth around $190 billion.
Pavan was also a Visiting Fellow at Yale University, where he was awarded the 2011 McCluskey Fellowship and wrote his book “Corporation 2020”. Earlier, he was Special Adviser and Head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative, and lead author of their report “Towards a Green Economy”. In 2010 and 2011, Pavan was a speaker at the World Economic Forum meetings at Davos. He serves on the boards of Conservation International and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Ellen Gustafson is a sustainable food system activist, author, innovator and social entrepreneur. She is the Co-Founder of Food Tank: the Food Think Tank, an organisation that grew out of the 30 Project, which Ellen founded in 2010, and Danielle Nierenberg’s Nourishing the Planet initiative. The 30 Project has been a significant part of changing the conversation about the global food system by connecting hunger and obesity. She is also the creator of the ChangeDinner campaign and HealthClass2.0, which are helping individuals change the food system at dinner tables and in schools.
Ellen previously Co-Founded FEED Projects, a charitable company that creates good products that help FEED the world, and is the Co-Founder and former Executive Director of FEED’s non-profit partner, the FEED Foundation. Under Ellen’s leadership FEED has provided over 60 million school meals to children around the world.
She has been featured as one of AOL and PBS’s MAKERS, trailblazing women who are “making” America, Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Inc Magazine’s 2010 30 Under 30 and Diplomatic Courier Magazine’s 2011 “Top 99 Under 33” in Foreign Policy. Ellen has spoken at the Fortune Most Powerful Women’s Conference, the World Food Prize, and is the Co-Chair of the Economist’s 2012 Feeding the World conference.
Helmy Abouleish is the managing director of SEKEM, which was founded with the idea of sustainable development and giving back to the community. Under his stewardship of its commercial arm, the SEKEM Initiative received the Right Livelihood Award 2003 for sustainable development, and became a member of the Schwab Foundation for Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs.
Helmy is also the founder and chairman of Ecotec (Ecological Technologies), which operates in the fields of production and sales of renewable energies equipment, provision of renewable energies, water treatment solutions, clean development mechanism consulting, tailored IT solutions, real estate development of ecological lodges, mining and glass processing.
He is also the founder and co-founder of various organisations, including The Egyptian National Competitiveness Council (ENCC), the International Association for Partnership (IAP), the Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA), the Centre for Organic Agriculture in Egypt (COAE), SEKEM Development Foundation (SDF).
From Jun 2005 until Dec. 2006, he has been appointed as the Executive Director of the Industrial Modernisation Centre (IMC), the biggest development fund in Egypt funded by the EU and the Egyptian Government, aiming at improving sustainable competitiveness of Egyptian enterprises.
Peter Seligmann is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Conservation International. Peter has a vision of an environmentally healthy world that will provide economic opportunities and security for all people. His mission is to bring together industry, government, religious leaders, professors, and scientists, local and indigenous people to make that vision a reality. His areas of expertise include business and environment, ecosystem services and conservation solutions.
Peter believes that a global shift in attitudes and actions is required, in order to attain a world in which our Earth’s natural wealth serves as the cornerstone for vibrant, thriving human societies.
Mike Clarke became Chief Executive of the RSPB in 2010. He has worked for the RSPB for over 20 years, beginning as one of their first Conservation Officers in 1988. Mike was also Council Member of Southampton University and is proud to have been a Founding trustee of the North Bedfordshire Schools Trust – the largest formal schools federation in England.
The challenges faced by our natural world are huge, but through the RSPB’s nature reserves and species recovery projects, they have made a real difference to an amazing array of wildlife.
Pete Myers is founder, CEO and Chief Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2002 to increase public understanding of the scientific links between environmental factors and human health.
Pete holds a doctorate in biological sciences from UC Berkeley and a BA from Reed College. For 12 years, beginning in 1990, Myers served as Director of the W. Alton Jones Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia. Along with co-authors Dr. Theo Colborn and Dianne Dumanoski, Myers wrote Our Stolen Future, a book (1996) that explores the scientific basis of concern for how contamination threatens fetal development.
Myers is now actively involved in primary research on the impacts of endocrine disruption on human health. He is the board chair of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment and has also chaired the board of the Science Communication Network since it’s founding in 2003.
Henry Robinson is the Deputy President and Chairman of the Board for the Country Land & Business Association. He has managed farmland since 1978 and currently farms 1000 acres in Gloucestershire, where he grows wheat and oilseed rape and has also acts as an advisor to three local farms.
Henry is committed to conservation and has been a member of agri-environment schemes for more than ten years, and has been in Higher Level Stewardship Schemes since early 2011.
He has served on the Executive Committee and Finance Committee of Gloucestershire Farming and Wildlife Group (FWAG) and as Chairman of Gloucestershire Rural Issues Task Force (for Gloucestershire First) and as Treasurer of National Birds of Prey Trust.
Richard Mattison is the Chief Executive Officer of Trucost. For over 12 years, Trucost has been helping companies, investors, governments and academics to understand the economic consequences of natural capital dependency.
Richard has advised various UN bodies and governments on environmental reporting and ecosystem services and has led ground-breaking projects, including developing the world’s first Environmental Profit and Loss account for PUMA, valuing the environmental externalities of the world’s 3,000 largest companies for the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, and producing the UK Government’s Environmental Reporting Guidelines for Business.
Richard is also a Member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Biodiversity & Natural Capital, member of the Oxford University Smith School Stranded Asset Programme consultative panel, advisor to The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) coalition, and a regular public speaker on environmental matters.
Whendee Silver is Professor of Environmental Science at UC Berkeley, California. Whendee attended Yale University where she gained her PHD in Ecosystem Ecology. Her research interests are in the field of ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry, and include the relationships among nutrient cycling, land-use, and biodiversity.
Whendee’s lab group works on themes linking climate, plant community characteristics, and biogeochemical cycling in tropical forests, as well as the effects of changing cover types at local and regional scales.
John Humphrys has been a presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme since 1987 and is known as a tenacious and forthright interviewer. During his career with the BBC, John has also worked as a foreign correspondent in both America and Africa, as well as being a diplomatic correspondent and presenter of the Nine O'Clock News.
John has won many awards for his broadcasting work, including a silver platter for Crystal Clear Broadcasting from the Plain English Campaign. In February 2000, he was named Journalist of the Year in an awards ceremony organised by the House Magazine and Channel 4, then in 2003 received the Gold Sony Radio Award and was also named Radio Journalist of the Year at this year's Sony awards.
Tristram Stuart is the winner of the international environmental award, The Sophie Prize 2011, for his fight against food waste. Following the critical success of Tristram’s first book, The Bloodless Revolution (2006), ‘a genuinely revelatory contribution to the history of human ideas’, Tristram has become a renowned campaigner, working in several countries to help improve the environmental and social impact of food production. His latest international prize-winning book, Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal (2009), revealed that Western countries waste up to half of their food, and that tackling this problem is one of the simplest ways of reducing pressure on the environment and on global food supplies.
Tristram set up Feeding the 5000 , the flagship event of a global food waste campaign where 5000 members of the public are given a free lunch using only ingredients that otherwise would have been wasted. Held twice in Trafalgar Square (2009 and 2011), the Feeding the 5000 team have now launched replica events and campaigns internationally, and has now been commissioned to work globally in partnership with the European Commission and the United Nations Environment Program. Tristram continues to work with a range of NGOs, governments, and private enterprises internationally to tackle the global food waste scandal.
Please note, the Sustainable Food Trust is committed to ensuring that price should not be a barrier to attending this event. With this in mind, we have a limited number of assisted places available.
For more information please email [email protected] with your name, contact details and a brief outline of your request for support.